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Author (up) Alley, K.E.; Scambos, T.A.; Siegfried, M.R.; Fricker, H.A. url  openurl
  Title Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation Type Journal Article
  Year 2016 Publication Nature Geoscience Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume advance online publication Issue Pages  
  Keywords Climate change, Cryospheric science  
  Abstract Antarcticas ice shelves provide resistance to the flow of grounded ice towards the ocean. If this resistance is decreased as a result of ice shelf thinning or disintegration, acceleration of grounded ice can occur, increasing rates of sea-level rise. Loss of ice shelf mass is accelerating, especially in West Antarctica, where warm seawater is reaching ocean cavities beneath ice shelves. Here we use satellite imagery, airborne ice-penetrating radar and satellite laser altimetry spanning the period from 2002 to 2014 to map extensive basal channels in the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica. The highest density of basal channels is found in West Antarctic ice shelves. Within the channels, warm water flows northwards, eroding the ice shelf base and driving channel evolution on annual to decadal timescales. Our observations show that basal channels are associated with the development of new zones of crevassing, suggesting that these channels may cause ice fracture. We conclude that basal channels can form and grow quickly as a result of warm ocean water intrusion, and that they can structurally weaken ice shelves, potentially leading to rapid ice shelf loss in some areas.  
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  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 1752-0894 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number refbase @ user @ alley_impacts_2016 Serial 17444  
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